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Friday, March 27, 2015

RICHARD III INTERMENT

Well, as a follow-up to my rather bitter last posting I would like to share something from his interment service - which was, I thought, well done (but should have been in York Minster).

Benedict Cumberbatch, the actor, who is distantly related to Richard read a specially composed poem by the poet laureate, Carol Ann Duffy. Here it is:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=38nodTfpro4

and the words:
RICHARD
My bones, scripted in light, upon cold soil,
a human braille. My skull, scarred by a crown,
emptied of history. Describe my soul
an incense, votive, vanishing, your own
the same. Grant me the carving of my name.

These relics, bless. Imagine you re-tie
a broken string and on it thread a cross,
the symbol severed from me when I died.
The end if time - an unknown, unfelt loss - 
unless the Resurrection of the Dead..........

or once I dreamed of this, your future breath
in prayer for me, lost long, forever found;
or sensed you from the backstage of my death,
as kings glimpse shadows on a battleground.

Profoundly well done, I thought.

7 comments:

The Crow said...

Reading the poem on your page, then hearing it gracefully recited, was quite moving.

The lines that touched me especially were these:

"...once I dreamed of this, your future breath
in prayer for me, lost long, forever found;
or sensed you from the backstage of my death,
as kings glimpse shadows on a battleground."

Well done, indeed, by all concerned. This was a lovely post, Avus; thank you.

Avus said...

Crow:
Yes, I, too, found those lines particularly touching - their sense of foreknowing and culmination

Roderick Robinson said...

Despite being a great CAD fan my first reaction was that this poem wasn't up to much. Technically competent, of course, but that it said very little. The laureate meeting her obligations, if you like. On re-reading it first in The Guardian and now here I've changed my mind. The images are three-dimensional and the voice - shot through with pathos - also carries the authority one might expect of a king. A remarkably confident individual who hadn't been over-awed by death:

...I dreamed of this, your future breath
in prayer for me...


And I suppose you could say his confidence was justified.

Comes over rather better than David Cameron.

Avus said...

RR
Three dimensional - yes "human braille", literally.

Cameron as an individual does not impress me at all.

As my Westmoreland Grandma had it, "All talk and no trousers"

Roderick Robinson said...

Just a quickie. It should be interment.

Avus said...

RR. Thanks, sub editor!

Kay Cooke said...

Great poem. The whole thing's been a fascinating process; the discovery of the skeleton, the test to prove it was indeed Richard; the way history has been woken and brought so starkly into the present.